Philosophy for Children
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P4C (Philosophy for Children) is an approach to learning and learning that was founded by Professor Matthew Lipman.  P4C has developed over 35 years, and is practised in approximately 60 countries.

Children are taught how to create their own philosophical questions. They then choose one question that is the focus of a philosophical enquiry, or dialogue.  For example the question might be 'is it ever ok to steal?  

babylittle Regular
To further encourage and promote the use of the 4C's within our P4C lessons (and across the curriculum) and help recognise different ways to demonstrate these, we will be awarding a special title to a deserving philosopher from each class.
After each half term, a student from each class who demonstrated one or more of the 4C's well will receive a special certificate and be chosen as:
Lead Philosopher
Lunik Sangat Regular
To stimulate more discussions we have introduced Ponder Posters around the school. The posters pose different questions to the students and often link to the displays they are attached to. Have a look at some of the examples below.
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What the children think of P4C:
"P4C means a lot to me because we get to speak and share with the class loads. I feel good because we get to share our feelings."
- CM Year 4
"I feel happy in P4C because teachers do not take control - this lesson is all for children."
- LJ Year 6
"In P4C there is no right or wrong answers and you get to answer questions. I have learned that you do not always have to be right."
- GT Year 4
"I like when everyone joins in and puts their hand out."
- CM Year 4
"P4C is philosophy for children. It is about having ideas. We talk about different houses and penguins and stuff and do not write much."
- BE Year 1
"I feel excited in P4C because I do not know what people will say."
- GT Year 4
Hanomali Demo Regular
In P4C club we watched This Is Me from the Greatest Showman and listened closely to the lyrics to identify the message and themes. We listed different themes and discussed how it made us felt. We also talked about how we thought the characters would feel and why. We then arranged a variety of statements on a continuum and discussed why we placed them there and compared them with that of our peers. We then used this to pose different questions including: 
Is it ok to be different?
Should we stand up for everyone?
Is bullying ever ok?
Can bullying affect how we see ourselves?
The following week we voted on the question and questioned the question, defining the different terms and identifying key people we would consider when airing and discussing our question.
Our chosen question was:
Is it ok to be different?
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In their P4C lesson in Geography, year 3 discussed why people choose to live in dangerous places. They wrote detailed responses after having a lengthy discussion. They were good, caring thinkers when they considered the thoughts and feelings of those not present in the room! Have a look at some of their ideas below!

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As a school our first P4C lesson of the year was based around global week. In year 4 their first stimulus showed them pictures of different animals living in captivity. Their second stimulus showed them different pictures of news paper headlines and people protesting.  They then looked at the meaning of 'captivity' and 'conservation' to help them with their discussion. They looked at the differences between zoo's used for performance and entertainment compared to zoos, like Chester Zoo, which are conservation centers.

They formulated the question 'Should animals be kept in captivity?'

They will complete our last words whilst at Chester Zoo on Friday.

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In Year 5 the children formed and answered the question:
Are orangutans lives as valuable as humans?
The children wrote their first and last responses on posted notes which they have displayed on their board. 
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In year 2 we looked at different statements regarding animals in zoos, including "animals are in cages," "animals are taken care of" and "animals cannot experience their own weather conditions". We worked together to identify whether we believed these statements were good or bad and gave reasons. We were critical thinkers when we recognised that some could be good or bad, for example, it is good they are in cages because they are safe and we are safe from them but it is bad because they may feel trapped or do not have enough space. We used these statements and discussions to form and answer the question: "Should animals be kept in zoos?"
Hanomali Demo Regular
 The P4C club met to use different stimulus to form questions regarding Global Issues. First they looked at a selection of images in small groups and identified what they were and how they made them feel. They then used a continuum to arrange the images from most important to least important. One group arranged them as most important issues to deal with to least important issues to deal with, while the other arranged them most important issue that damages the world to least important issue. The children had lengthy discussions about where to position the images and why. They shared opposing views, justifying their choices with reasons and spent lots of time rearranging them, with some pictures being placed at the same spot. The children then compared their continuum and began to discuss whether they agreed or disagreed with the choices made by the other groups. They had a lengthy discussion again about their choices, before using this to note the most powerful themes and ideas highlighted from this task. The children listed these themes and will use them to form questions next week!
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What the children think of P4C:
"It's good because we can share ideas and think and change our mind. We take turns and listen to others answers and learn about things."
- EJ Year 3
"I like P4C the way it is. It is about having fun and talking a lot to people and making ideas."
- AT Year 2
"You get a chance to think deeply and think of ways to improve. There is never a wrong answer."
- LJ Year 6
"I feel proud in P4C because I can help people make ideas. I have learned to talk to people in P4C."
- AB Year 2
"In P4C you talk and ask questions. I feel happy when I am doing it because we get to talk and have fun. I have learned that people are people, no matter what."
- DD Year 3
"I feel happy and nice in P4C. I get to talk to people and that's the best part."
- MDD Year 1
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Hanomali Demo Regular
The P4C club met to work in small groups to split different images across a venn diagram. The children worked together to separate the images across and justified their choices with reasons. The children decided whether the images provided represented beauty, art or both. One critical group decided some images were not suited for the diagram and left them outside, explaining they were neither beauty nor art. The children sued this stimulus and the themes gathered from it to generate some questions which they will use for their inquiry next session.
The P4C Club met to complete their eniquiry regarding 'appearances' They worked together to answer the question:
'Do appearances matter?'
The children talked a lot about why they believed appearances did or did not matter, giving reasons for their ideas as well as building on the ideas of others by using sentence stems such as 'I agree' or 'I disagree'. 
We have an interesting discussion in which we considered why people are so concerned with appearances.
The P4C Club met again this week to discuss various things that are happening in this world that affect our environment and the way we live. They looked at and analysed a range of images, ranking them from most important to least important. They talked a lot about what the images conveyed and how they made them feel before giving reasons for their position on the chart. The children recognised that a lot of the images were both good and bad and that it was difficult to arrange them because each of them affected us and others significantly. Next week we will use this stimulus to identify key themes and use these themes to air a question!
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What the children think of P4C:
"It's good because I can have an opinion and share it. There is no right or wrong. You can have a different opinion and talk about it."
- EM Year 6
"It is interesting to see what other people say and think."
- EM Year 6
"I have learned not to be embarrassed by my ideas. There is no right or wrong answer."
- EM Year 6
"It is fun because it doesn't feel like a lesson."
- EM Year 6
"In P4C you don't have a right or wrong answer. You just have to try."
- LJ Year 6
"P4C makes you more confident. It is about your opinion and thoughts. You get time and a chance to think about inner thoughts."
- LJ Year 6
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The children in Year 2 used their Art topic about portraits and the stimulus of different portraits of the same model looking differently to air the question:
'Do we see ourselves the way others see us?'
The children talked at length in small groups about it before sharing as a group with some suggesting we do not because some people know us better than others and we act differently with different people and when we are alone.
In Art the year 6's the children used their topic about masks and images of different Egyptian masks to form different questions. They settled on:
Masks- privacy or power?
They noted their own personal reflections before and after in their art books to recognise how, where and why people wear masks to help them answer the question and give reasons.
In Art in year 3 the children answered the question: Why is Autumn the most beautiful season. They offered reasons and gave examples to justify their answers. Look at some of their responses below!
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In their Science P4C Year 4 worked together to air and answer the question:
Is it too late to save the planet?
Their stimuluses included a video of a struggling polar bear in the wild which helped them use scientific language to identify and discuss the difficulties the planet is currently facing. This helped their discussion as it helped generate ideas and opinions. They talked at length about this topic and were able to offer both sides of the argument, including some reasons for their choices.
In their recent Science topic Year 5 worked in small groups to order scientific statements about gravity, arranging them based on whether they agreed with them or not. The children then shared their reasons with the class and used the themes from the statements to generate their question.
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In Year 2 the children worked in small groups and used the statements provided to arrange them on the continuum. They discussed whether they agreed with the statements or not and explained their reasons why. The children used sentence stems to express their views and ensured they justified their ideas before agreeing as a group where to position the statements.
Statements included: 
Darkness is good for us.
Being in the light makes us happy and well.
Plants can survive in artificial light.
They shared their ideas as a class before meeting in a circle to use the stimulus to air a question. They settled on:
'What if we didn't have windows?'
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In Year 6 the children discussed whether electricity is important by creating a spider diagram of the impact electricity has on their lives. They reflected on both the negative and positive impacts to ensure they were considering views of those not present in the room.
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In History Year 2 used the stimulus to air the question:
Would it be easier to live now or in 1666?
They also considered the question:
Can good things come from something bad?
In History Year 4 discussed:
Do you think children should work?
They role played examples to demonstrate how the children would feel, demonstrating their caring thinking skills.
During History Year 3 used their stimulus to air the question:
Do we communicate better now or in the past?
They discussed what time period they believed had better communication and gave examples and reasons for their choices. 
Have a look at some of their first words and last words below!
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In History Year 6 discussed whether archaeologists are glorified thieves and displayed their responses using mind maps. Take a look at some of their detailed responses below!
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P4C in R.E!
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In Year 5 the children used the stimulus to generate the question:
'Can you be a good friend all the time?'
They linked their responses to their RE topic about friendship to help develop ideas.
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P4C in Literacy.
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In Year 1 the children read and watched a video of the fairy tale, 'The Ugly Duckling' and used this stimulus to generate a list of themes. From this they came up with the question:
'Is being beautiful the most important thing?'
The children used their 4C's whilst offering their ideas. Take a look at some of their responses below!
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Whilst studying stories with familiar settings in Year 2, the children read Goldilocks and the Three Bears and used this stimulus to generate a list of themes. The children formulated their own question:
'Is Goldilocks a bad person?'
Take a look at some of their responses below.
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"P4C is a place for ideas and the 4Cs."
- NN Year 2
"P4C makes me happy because we get to chat and hear people's ideas and talk to other people."
- JR Year 2
"P4C is about answering questions. It makes me happy because the questions are interesting."
- AB Year 2
"I have learned about the 4cs and different ways of saying things. The best thing about P4C is that you sit in a circle and talk to everyone and get their ideas."
- AB Year 2
"I feel happy because I am chatting and it is fun."
- JM Year 2
"I feel good because you get to chat loads."
- MDD Year 1
"I feel happy because I am with my friends and I get to create new ideas."
- JM Year 1 
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P4C in Science!
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In Year 4 the children used their science topic on electricity to generate and discuss the question:
How much do we need electricity in our lives?
They thought deeply and demonstrated their views clearly. They consider the views of those outside of the room as well as their own to get a deeper understanding.
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In Year 2 the children used the stimulus and topic of healthy living to generate the question:
Is it better to be well or unwell?
After writing down their first thoughts, they came together to discuss which is better, with most initially considering being well as being the better and easier option. After some discussion, a deep, critical thinker aired that though being sick is bad it is easy because you can rest which helped children recognised the joys of being able to do nothing and play on their consoles. With this view aired several children changed their views, but it was concluded that it is easier to be well.
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In Year 2 the children used different images as a stimulus to identify different themes before using these to formulate different questions. The first was:
Is it easier to be a doctor or a vet?
The children talked at length about why they think it is easier to be a doctor or a vet, justifying their views with reasons. They built on each other's ideas using statements such as 'I agree with' and demonstrated their critical thinking by using statements such as 'I disagree with'. They demonstrated the 4cs in different ways whilst enjoying sharing their ideas and opinions.
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Year 3 used the stimulus to recognise their similarities and differences before using the images provided to help articulate their view points regarding the question:
Can we be the same and different?
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In Science Year 3 used their topic on the human body in Science to form questions about the impacts of food on your body and health. The children worked together in small groups to ask and answer questions before joining as a class to share their views. 
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"P4C is about expanding my mind because it makes me think more."
GT Year 4
"It is a safe zone because there are no right or wrong answers." 
- GT Year 4
"I really like it because it is fun. You get to share lots of ideas and learn new things." 
- AH Year 4
"It makes me feel excited because you get to chat." 
- AVM Year 3
"I feel happy because nothing is right or wrong."
- AVM Year 3
"I feel good because I like that everyone shares their ideas and that you can't argue."
- DD Year 3
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P4C in Geography!
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Class 2R have been discussing whether they would rather live in a world with no land or in a world with no oceans as part of their Philosophy and Geography lessons. Take a look at some of our thoughts and reasons why.
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In Year 2 the children composed their own question about maps after using a puzzle to piece a map together.
The children asked a variety of questions before settling on: 
Do we need help if we already know where we want to go?
The children enjoyed using their communication skills to share their ideas and form a conclusion. They used different sentence starters to express their views and many used 'because' to offer reasons.
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Year 5 generated a number of questions using their stimulus before deciding to discuss:
Can you call more than one place a home?
The children first identified what a home is before they talked at length about it before concluding that you can.
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In Year 4 the children created the question: 
'Why did God create natural disasters?' 
This question was generated based on their immediate thoughts and feelings regarding the issues that were raised during a video on natural disasters.
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Year 6 talked about homes and where they live in their first P4C lesson!
They discussed about why they move house and listed what they think are the most important reasons for moving house.
They then generated the question: 'What makes a house a home?'
They talked about different houses around the world and why people call somewhere 'home'.
Some of their ideas included:
- Love
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In Year 2 the children pieced together a cut up map of our school as a stimulus. They then talked about the importance of maps before discussing the question:
"Do we need help if we know where we are going?"
Some of the children changed their initial thoughts after their class discussion. 
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In Geography, Year 5 generated the question:
Is it ever possible to truly leave your home behind?
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As part of their Geography topic, the Year 6 students first worked in small groups to arrange reasons to move home in order of importance before using this stimulus to help formulate several questions. The children voted for:
Do people always move for the right reasons?
Look at our amazing displays!
Our class displays include the 4C's and their meanings as well as some key words and phrases to help the children articulate their ideas and opinions.
Our displays include the children's first and last words based on the question generated. This is altered regularly.
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"I feel happy in P4C because we work as a team to think of questions and answers."
TM Year 5
"The best thing about P4C is that we think for ourselves and pick stuff ourselves."
TM Year 5
"P4c has taught me how to be caring, so if someone has a different opinion I know how to answer."
- IH Year 5
"P4c is a lesson but it's a fun lesson."
- IH Year 5
"The best thing about P4C is that it is fair because everyone gets a turn and they can all share an idea. We can learn from them and learn how to do the 4Cs and be caring."
- NN Year 2
"P4C is something happy because we all get to answer and all the answers are good."
- JR Year 2
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Weekly Philosophy at St. Matthew's Catholic Primary School
There will be a philisophical question every week newsletter for children to discuss with their parents at home. Please have a chat about it and let Mr Edwards know your thoughts.


We used this picture of a Fairy Liquid bottle that washed up in Scotland after 60 years a stimulus. We discussed if all of our actions have consequences or if our actions don’t really matter.
Global Week
In 'Global Week' we have been discussing where out food comes from. Our discussion was based around whether it was better to buy local food or food that had been imported.
A Visit from Parliament
Dan Carden the Liverpool Walton MP came in to visit us and tell us about how the people in parliament debate different issues that affect us.
Year 5 have been studying Rainforests and using 'The Great Kapok Tree' as a stimulus they decided to discuss: 'What would a world be like with no trees?'
The Present
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Watching this film gave Year 6 a number of issues to discuss. Some of the themes were, loneliness, solitude and isolation. As well as companionship, togetherness and solidarity.

The dialogue that was chosen was, 'Do we all have something in common, even if you can't see in initially?'

Some of our final thoughts included.

"You might be scared to play with someone because of what others might say but deep down we are all the same on the inside."

"Excluding people can be just as harmful as calling them names so we need to make sure they are included"

"Just because you might have a disability in one way does not mean you don't make up for it in other ways."

Macbeth P4C
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We have been studying Macbeth and discussing some of the issues that arrise in the play. The main ones that we identified were motivation, ambition and greed.
The diologue we decided on was, "Can you have too much ambition?"
Some of our final thoughts were.
"There is nothing wrong with ambition, as long as you focus on doing  the right thing."
"Ultimately people are greedy and they will always want more that they have. So ambition can be a bad thing."
"We all need to be ambitious or as a human race we will not be able to progress."
Pupil Voice 
Here are some of the things that the children in St. Matthew's have thought about philosophy this term.
"Philosophy can help you to be a caring thinker by listening to other peoples opinions even if they are different from out own."
"We have to work collaboratively to come up with questions to talk about. Sometimes we combine our questions to make a better one."
"I like that I can be creative in philosophy because listening to other people might change my opinion on what I thought and I get to come up with some new ideas."
"Philosophy has taught me that if I don't think the same as someone else I can still be their friend.
"Sometimes you have to be critical of other people because you don't agree with what they are saying. But that's alright as long as you do it in a caring way." 
"P4C helped me think about my feeling for art when we studied Frida Khalo the Mexican artist."
"I like thinking about how the world might change in the future when we used P4C in science."
"We looked at family life in RE and P4C helped us to think about how and why family life isn't always perfect."
Anti Bullying Week
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We looked at the story 'The Frog and the Stranger' as part of Anti Bullying week.  Some of the issues that arose from the story were, isolation, judging others and  being mean to others. 
The dialogue we chose was, 'Why don't people take the time to get to know people on the inside?'
Ruby thought that some people try to get others to bully because they feel better when they are part of a gang. But we should be more like the frog and stand up for the things we believe in and make sure that everyone is treated in the same way. 
World War II 
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We looked at Neville Chamberlin's speech declaring war on Germany at the start of World War II. 
The dialogue we decided on was 'Can a war ever be justified if innocent people die?'
Performance Poetry Philosophy 
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After listening to the poem 'Can We Auto-Correct humanity?' We decided to dialogue the question, 'Would life be happier without technology?'
Jak said that using technology is unavoidable in life today but sometimes people need to leave it alone for a while and enjoy other things such as nature.
Chloe thought that if we took all technology away then we wouldn't be happy because we wouldn't be able to contact each other as easily. 
Lexi disagreed and said that if we didn't have technology we would just have to find other ways to communicate like people did in the past.
Science Week
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We watched the this video as a stimulus for our P4C lesson. We thought about how the planet is changing over time and how it might change in the future.
The question we decided to debate was 'What if we keep destroying wildlife?'
Here are some of our thoughts.
As part of our performance poetry unit we have been looking at Prince Ea's poem 'Can We Autocorrect Humanity?'
We used this as a stimulus and debated the question 'Would we be happier without technology?'
Hands of Friendship
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The children in Year 2 enjoyed their 'hands of friendship' themed philosophy lesson, using the book 'Stick and Stone' as a stimulus.
Our question was 'Do you always need a friend if you are alone?'
Year 4 watched ‘The Present’ by Jacob Frey as a stimulus. Then we discussed some issues that had arisen from the video. In groups, we generated some questions for our discussion. The overall question we discussed was, “Can anyone or anything be a friend?” We wrote down our first and last thoughts. We agreed that pets can sometimes be our best friends too!
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Year 5 looked at some different concept collision activities deciding what the most important qualities of a friend are.
We decided that the most important qualities were being kind and being trustworthy.
After watching a film about a girl who struggles to keep friends as a stimulus (, we decided to ask the question, "If you let your friend win all the time how would this affect them in later life?" 
Here are some final words...
Marine Pollution Philosophy
In Geography we decided to debate the question, 'Would life be different if there were no marine life left?'
At first we thought there wouldn't be much change for us, then we realised that lots of areas of life would be effected such as where we go on holiday, the food we eat and how healthy we are.
Family P4C in Year 4
Class 4F were looking at family life in RE. They chose the question 'Why is family life not always perfect?'
Harry thinks that we express our feelings when we are feeling happy so why can't we express them when we are feeling sad as well.
What do we need to be happy?
Year 5 agreed that the things we need to be happy could not be bought, such as love, family and friends. They decided that things like cars, computers and television were nice but we could still be happy without them.
Philosophy in Key Stage 2
'The Fairest Teacher'
Philosophy in Key Stage 1
'No, David' by David Shannon
'what would it be like if adults could never say NO?'
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Take a look at some of our Philosophy displays around school...